President Goodluck Jonathan has sent the Cybercrime Bill 2013 to the Senate to be enacted into law.
The bill titled, “Cybercrime Bill, 2013” was sent to Senate President David Mark.
“I hereby introduce for formal consideration and enactment into law by the Distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Cybercrime Bill, 2013,” Jonathan said.
The President did not give details as to the content of the Bill and the punishment to be meted out to those who violate its statutes.
The Federal Government is suspected by Nigerians of trying to curtail the use of social media in the country, due to the manner by which Nigerian citizens use it to protest against bad leadership, and corruption.
in 2011, Senator Gbenga Kaka (APC, Ogun East) presented a bill to stop cybercrime. That bill came under controversy due to a section related to social media.
Section 13 (3) stipulated seven-year term for those that give false information on social media. Due to public outcry, the Senate decided to expunge that section.
Senator Kaka, while briefing journalists, said, “Following the public hearing, which was held after the second reading, the Section 13 (3) of the provision was taken exception to by the social media.
“And since the bill is now in the public, I decided to consult with the Senate Committee Chairmen on Information and Judiciary, and after consultation we resolved that Section 13 (3) of the proposed bill could be abused at any point in time and could be misinterpreted and as a result, I have their permission to announce to the world that that section shall be deleted.
“I thank all those who have made contribution both locally and internationally for the enrichment they have brought into the bill
“I want to assure you that I don’t have monopoly of power or knowledge and so we still welcome more suggestions and debates that can further enrich the bill so that it will be to the overall interest of the country.
“The bill is targeted against the misuse of the internet which in other countries is used for the development and growth of the various communities and in our own case, it was an attempt to curb the activities of internet scammers who always give us bad name both locally and internationally.
“Section 13 (3) of the bill states that anyone who intentionally propagate false information that could threaten the security of the country or that is capable of inciting the general public against the government through electronic message, shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to seven years imprisonment or N5 million fine or both.”